Retail stocks are suddenly showing signs of life.
A popular retail-stock tracking exchange-traded fund, the XRT, just posted its best month since October 2011. Despite its 11 percent rise in November, some market strategists still aren't keen on the group.
"I'm not quite a retail believer yet. If you look at the short term, yes, we just saw a tremendous Cyber Monday and great Black Friday numbers. So that gives a lot of people reason for optimism," Gina Sanchez, CEO of Chantico Global, said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."
But the recent rally is on weak footing, Sanchez believes. Retail growth has been above trend, she said, and "it's been fueled by consumers dipping into their savings. We have seen the savings rate dropping in order to fund continued spending, and that is always an unsustainable deal."
Some of the names on a technical basis look promising to Todd Gordon, founder of TradingAnalysis.com. He favors shares of Ross Stores, and calls the broader XRT a "quiet way" of playing some signs of a retail recovery. Furthering his optimistic call is the oversold nature of some of the XRT's components like Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters and L Brands.
"These are very oversold stocks that are starting to come back. So if you're looking for a value play, I think the XRT is the way to do it in a nonvolatile way. But it's got to prove it through the $46 level," he said.